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February 16, 2023
Sri Lanka Captain Chamari Athapaththu | Pre-match press conference transcript | Sri Lanka vs Australia

Sri Lanka Cricket

15 February – Gqeberha – Sri Lanka Captain Chamari Athapaththu pre-match press conference

[Reporter]

Chamari, can you explain how your preparations are for tomorrow’s match?

[Chamari]

There is good preparation for the remaining two matches of the tournament. So far, we have played two matches well. Those two matches are over now. There is a new game ahead. The Australian team is a good team. But we know how to compete with them. So, we hope to play with our usual rhythm. Also, in the second match, we had a few shortcomings in bowling. I hope to prepare o   those shortcomings and face the game tomorrow. The best thing is that all the batsmen in the team are between the runs. Harshitha, Nilakshi, I am, and also Vishmi performing well. That’s a good thing when we have to compete with a team like Australia. We are well prepared to play this match.

[Reporter]

If you win the match tomorrow I think there is a 50% chance of a semi-final, what do you think about that?

[Chamari]

Two matches are over. I know that we are at the top of the points table. There is no point in thinking about the results of the two matches that have ended. Our hope is to play well in the next two matches. We cannot think in advance how those teams will play the other two matches. And we can’t trust the weather. Therefore, it is important to play the match well. We have to play well in the match we have for that day. I told our team about it. How are the other contestants playing? What is our level? We need to have an understanding of such things as that. We are focusing on playing well in the next match.

[Reporter]

This is obviously a very important game for both Sri Lanka and Australia, having both won two matches in the competition so far. Could you just tell us how you’re going to approach this match, you know, and where do you feel the strengths lie within your team?

[Chamari]

Actually, last two games we play now positive cricket all the time. So, we have to continue this form in next couple of games. Yeah, we know Australia is very good side, but we know our skill, we back cover skills and positive things. So, the team and all the teammates are in good positive mindset so hopefully we can play good cricket in tomorrow. We have good batting line up because all the batters in the form and the bowlers are doing really good.

We know Australia is one of the best team in the world, but the particular day who will play the good cricket, the team will be in the game. So I don’t think about the ranking and the name of the Australia, but I try to play positive cricket and I always try to leading from the front for next game.

[Reporter]

And just in terms of conditions, you guys have obviously had a practice session here.

What do you make of conditions and how do you think that will, that will play to your strengths?

[Chamari]

I think that the condition is good for our side because I feel that the week it is a bit slow and less bound. So, it’s really good for us because we have good spinners and uh it’s a little bit familiar for us with the wickets are very familiar for us because it’s like subcontinent wickets. So yeah, yeah, we try our best and playing good cricket in tomorrow.

[Reporter]

During the 2020 edition of the T-20 World Cup, you had had a spectacular innings and you ran Australia close, they struggled very much to get over the line. How much will that performance play a part in your approach tomorrow. Both your performance and the teams, given the rivalry between the two sides are not as fancied as the other nations perhaps, but you have a great record and that particular T20 World Cup match from 2020.

How is that going to play a part in your approach?

[Chamari]

Yes, you’re correct because 2020 World Cup, we are doing really good. We played good cricket against Australia in the last over, they won the match. So the girls know that, so girls have good positive vibes in my team. This game is very crucial for both teams so we don’t have any pressure because we are underdogs. Australia is a champion team so they have pressure from their side but not for us so we take no risk tomorrow, just play our natural game, no pressure from my side. I don’t want to take any pressure and I just play my natural game, not only me, the whole team. So the whole team is focused on tomorrow’s game and play good cricket and we try our best to beat our champions.

[Reporter]

Chamari, considering women’s premier league some matches have been missed, are you worried about that? How do you look at it?

[Chamari]

I’m sorry. I didn’t hear.

[Reporter]

Chamari, considering women’s premier league some matches have been missed, are you worried about that? How do you look at it?

[Chamari]

As a player, I focus on playing for my country. Playing league is something else. I have played many league games and IPL has played in three editions. That is not under my control. I have shown my best skills and I have played my best. It is the same in this tournament, that is decided by the franchise and especially by ICC. It is not in my control. My responsibility is to play my best for my country. because I play for my country. Playing IPL games means we can earn a lot of money. I play for my country. I will prove how good my team and I are in this tournament.

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